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 Samana - Profile

Location

The Samana Peninsula extends almost 30 miles out from the north coast of the Dominican Republic. Santa Bárbara de Samaná (usually called Samana) lies on the southern side overlooking the large bay of Bahia de Samana. This town has an unusual history. It was settled by two shiploads of freed American slaves around 1824 and, to this day, many residents speak English as a first language.

Position 19° 11'67''N, 069° 21'16''W (marina)

Clearance

See DR Formalities for detailed clearance information and fees.

On arrival, all the officials will make their way out to your boat to undertake clearance. Crew will not be permitted to leave the boat until they have checked in with Immigration.

In the past the clearance process was reported to be rather inefficient here, however recent reports are that things have improved somewhat (see comments at bottom of page).

Whilst the preferred currency for fees is US $, the Peso is accepted as well.

Samana has a long history of "made up charges". Officials here have been known to charge for anchoring based on use of the wharf.  They do not have a wharf and the charge is based on a Ports and Harbours charge where a charge is assessed by the government to use the wharf. It is entirely up to you if you don't want to pay this charge, but it may involve a lot of time waiting in their office if you don't.

Last updated May 2017.

Docking

The bay here is sheltered and provides a good anchorage, however the harbour is noisy with loud music. Whilst the authorities in Samana are showing greater compliance with the official rate list, there is a charge here to anchor.

There are also some mooring buoys off the town which may be available for a small charge. The buoys are serviced regularly and have large concrete blocks on them.

A new condo development, Puerto Bahia, with slips opened in 2010 a few miles up bay from the harbour, 4nm west of the town of Samana. It has a deep entrance channel with inside depths ranging from 9 - 15 ft. Services are limited (there are no haulout facilities or resident marine mechanics for example), but it is in nice surroundings. It's a 30 to 40 minutes walk from here in to town. Prices are reported to be high.

Be sure to lock your dinghy and outboard to the boat at all times. There have been several reported cases of theft and attempted theft in Samana, the last one being in June 2016 (see report adjacent).

Apart from the wonderful beaches, the principle attraction is the incredible sight of hundreds of humpback whales, which during January to March, gather in the bay to mate and nurse their young.

Last updated May 2017.

Puerto Bahia Samana Marina
Samana , Dominican Republic
Tel:+ 1 (809) 503-6363 ,VHF Channel 16 - Staff speak English
Located 19°11'670''N 069°21'158''W
Full service marina for boats up to 150 LOA, max. draft 10ft. Electric 100 amp single and 3 phase. Customs and Immigration. 24-hr security, fuel dock, free internet, mini-market, showers, laundry, chandlery, restaurants and bars, pools, car hire, rubbish collection.

Cornelis
Cornelis says:
Nov 04, 2017 10:40 PM

How many more years will it take before the government does something to make DR more boat friendly and the officialdom less entrepreneur-like.....?
Also urgently need to be looked at the unrealistic costs to DR flag a boat.
If you lookup statistics you can see that no boats were imported..... so no money at all for DR this way. Plse wake up there !

Sue Richards
Sue Richards says:
May 26, 2017 04:03 PM

This comment was sent by e-mail, 6 May 2017, and is posted on behalf of SY Blue Flyer:

Here we are in Samana, Dominican Republic (our port of entry).

An interesting channel coming in to the main harbour, not difficult and I found the Navionics very accurate. There is a Marina outside the town, but it is expensive, so I have taken a buoy off the town for 2 nights at US$20 per night. The buoys are serviced regularly and have large concrete blocks on them.

On arrival Chico met us and is acting as our agent. If anyone's going to visit here I can recommend him highly. His English is good, he works in Florida during the off season here.

Checking in is expensive and the preferred currency is US $ but the Peso is fine as well. They give 47 peso to the dollar. All the offices are local and the immigration officer came in specially for me on Saturday. The navy (Customs) came out to the boat to check us over and take the paperwork away for checking us out tomorrow, so that we can leave at a reasonable time on Monday. The crew were not allowed off the boat until checked in with immigration.

The town is very pleasant, with little or office, so tourists are safe here. We went to a supermarket to stock up for Cuba, and then to a fruit and veggie market. All done on a TukTuk, not much room with 4 people and all the shopping. Prices are very reasonable.

Fuel is in Jerrycans unless you do as we did. We filled up with our own supplies and got our cans refilled, by Chico, at the service station. So fresh clean diesel.

We took a very reasonable tour, again thank to Chico, all day. Visited a 45 metre waterfall and another beautiful town. You can negotiate this with Chico.

In total, a very worthwhile port to go to if you're in the neighbourhood.

Hugh Pilsworth
SY Blue Flyer

eaudree96
eaudree96 says:
Jan 12, 2017 12:42 PM

Samana is a geat city and very safe. I recommand to stay at the marina. Its a 5 Star marina at half the price with all the services. From the marina you must take a bus to the city 40 pesos..

John Pedersen
John Pedersen says:
Mar 05, 2015 12:41 PM

We are trying to escape Samana. We've had westerly winds and calms, preventing us from going on to Luperon. We'd expected to really like the place, and had planned to spend two weeks going around Samana Bay. However, the officials will not allow that. We went to Los Haitises national park, which was great, but we were told we had to report back to the the Commandancia in Santa Barbara the same day. The park was great, and we could have happily spent a week just there, exploring and enjoying the wildlife. But it was not to be. We had to return to anchor in Santa Barbaraby with its extremely noisy bars and clubs and cars full of speaker parked on the promenade blasting out competing 'music'. Even my kids, who love music festivals, are being driven crazy by it.

The Commandancia is very inefficient. It took an hour today just to find a form in the office that they'd filled in for me just four days ago - not that the port is busy. Just two yachts have left in the intervening time. It took all afternnon to get a despachio - permission to leave for Luperon. And we haven't been allowed to anchor anywhere at night other than in Santa Barbara.

This isn't exactly one anchorage more perfect than the last, as described in the free cruising guide. It's just the one anchorage, and a very very noisy one at that. I doubt everything in that guide now. Another sailor told us of his experience at Boca Chica. He wasn't allowed to park in the designated anchorage, but forced to take a berth in the marina or pick up a mooring, at $25US a night. Note that the free guide which talks up this place so eloquently (and heavily promotes the south coast as the best route) is sponsored by the owner of the Boca Chica marina.

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